REBOOT STEREOPHONIC RELEASES THE 1959 FRED KATZ CLASSIC:
FOLK SONGS FOR FAR OUT FOLK
West Coast Jazz with Stops in Africa, Brooklyn and the Kabbalah
Plus Communism and Star Wars
Reboot Stereophonic, the acclaimed non-profit record label committed to
recovering lost music and the stories connected to them from attics across
America is proud to announce the July 10 release of its fifth album, a long
coveted 1959 gem, FOLK SONGS FOR FAR OUT FOLK from the eclectic jazz
pioneer, Kabbalist, magic man, and eternal left-winger Fred Katz. Katz is
best known for introducing cello to jazz, which he perfected in the 1950s
with his famous stint with west coast jazz legends, the Chico Hamilton
Katz, now 86, has had an extraordinary career, from his early days as a
cello student of Pablo Casals to his work in Hollywood scoring Roger Corman
films like Little Shop of Horrors and A Bucket of Blood, from his
anti-Vietnam War piece for solo cello "The Soldier Puppet" to his late 50's
stint as an A&R man for Decca Records where he created the experimental Jazz
Moods series; from solo jazz cello albums like Fred Katz and His Jammers to
his conducting jazz arrangements for Sidney Poitier (the forgotten Sidney
Poitier Reads Plato) and Harpo Marx (the almost forgotten Harpo in Hi-Fi)
and his 1980s stint teaching jazz in a Benedictine monastery with a
bongo-playing nun and a sax-playing priest.
FOLK SONGS FOR FAR OUT FOLK is a musical triptych of orchestrated jazz based
on Hebraic, African, and American folk songs. "Those were the three cultures
that were most important to me at the time," Katz says. "The American
culture I was very interested in but mostly as a radical guy who had to
learn about folk music and protest songs. And the African element just
followed because of my belief in the oneness of man. The reason for the
Jewish stuff was the mystery. It's impossible to ever know what God is. The
From the American folk tradition he chose "Sometimes I Feel Like a
Motherless Child," "Been in the Pen So Long," "Foggy Foggy Dew," and "Old
Paint" which Katz says he "treated as sort of an erotic thing." From the
African songbook he went with "Chili'lo," "Manthi-ki," and "Mate'ka," and
from the Hebrew side "Baal Shem Tov" and "Rav's Nigun."
FOLK SONGS FOR FAR OUT FOLK was produced by pedal steel guitar pioneer and
famed bandleader Alvino Rey and recorded in 1958 during three separate
sessions in Hollywood, one for each set of folk songs. Each session also had
its own set of musicians, an impressive list of 50s jazz stalwarts
hand-picked by Katz. The American songs include jazz guitar great Billy Bean
and on piano, Johnny T. Williams, better known nowadays as Hollywood film
composer and Oscar mainstay John Williams (Star Wars, Jaws, Schindler's
List). The Hebrew sessions featured the flutes and saxophones of Buddy
Collette and Paul Horn, Katz's esteemed Los Angeles colleagues from the
Chico Hamilton Quintet, and the African songs include appearances by bongo
king Jack Costanzo and trumpeters Pete Candoli (alum of the Woody Herman and
Stan Kenton bands) and Irving Goodman (brother of Benny).
After Reboot Stereophonic co-founder Josh Kun first heard the original LP a
few years ago, the team began searching for Katz. Kun headed south from L.A.
to Katz's home in Fullerton for a series of long visits in the fall of 2006.
"He is an inspiration as a musician, an intellectual, and a human being,"
says Kun. "Spending time with Fred, hearing his stories, listening to him
play his cello, learning about his life, only made Folk Songs that much more
powerful, a true testament to his boundless creativity as an artist. I'm so
honored that we're able to make this music available again."
The project is the fifth release by Reboot Stereophonic following the
critically acclaimed re-issue of the 1959 Latin-Jewish hybrid, BAGELS AND
BONGOS by 92-year-old IRVING FIELDS, GOD IS A MOOG by moog pioneer, Gershon
Kingsley, and the JEWFACE collection, the world's first and only anthology
of Jewish minstrel songs that took vaudeville stages by storm at the turn of
the 20th century. The label is an outgrowth of a fast growing national
network called Reboot which engages some of the most talented young
creatives in the music, film, television, technology, politics, literature
and media realms in the examination of generational changes in identity,
community and meaning.
Reboot Stereophonic, which is releasing a series of titles based upon music
found in archives and buried in thrift store dustbins, has been developed as
a work of passion by an eclectic team of music industry tastemakers,
volunteers all, led by Courtney Holt at MTV, David Katznelson at Birdman,
USC writer/academic Josh Kun, and Roger Bennett, co-founder of Reboot.